Cutting Edge Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory Can Save Lives - Addition to Sentara reference Laboratory Speeds Diagnoses and Treatment
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Cutting Edge Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory Can Save Lives - Addition to Sentara reference Laboratory Speeds Diagnoses and Treatment 

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The completion of the Human Genome Project has ushered in a new era of medicine. Application of molecular diagnostics will improve how disease is identified, characterized, treated and ultimately prevented. It has applications in infectious disease management, hereditary testing, drug treatment plans and cancer genetics.

About 70% of the information doctors use in treating patients comes from the laboratory, says Richard Moriarty, M.D., and Medical Director for Sentara Reference Lab. Molecular testing is the new cutting edge in medicine and every year more laboratory tests become molecular based Moriarty adds, and Sentara is at the forefront with this new technology.

What drug to use to treat a disease, and how much, is often a trial-and-error process. Patients may react to a drug or it could quickly reach toxic levels based on their metabolism. Molecular diagnostics may help physicians formulate drug treatment plans tailored to individual patients. Suhail Nasim, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director for Sentaras Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory says, Our testing will help a physician prescribe the right drug the first time, at the safest dose.

Sentara Reference Laboratorys Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory is now part of the only full service reference lab located in Hampton Roads. Pathology Sciences Medical Group provides medical supervision.

We asked Sentara for a state-of-the-art diagnostics lab, and they delivered, Dr, Moriarty says. Now, we can offer this cutting edge capability as a resource for all Hampton Roads hospitals and medical practices to help improve the speed and quality of their patient care.

Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory

Here are some of the many applications for molecular testing:

Transplants predict best matches for donor organs, likelihood of rejection.

Lymphomas identify genetic mutations and definitive markers.

Leukemia identify Minimal Residual Disease to continue treatment.

Cervical Cancer identify high-risk strains of human papilloma virus, the causative agent of most cervical cancers.

Breast Cancer Identify chromosomal abnormalities that help with treatment decisions.

HIV and Hepatitis Identify drug-resistant strains and help formulate the most effective drug regimens.

Tuberculosis Molecular testing speeds diagnosis, avoids days of costly isolation

State-of-the-art equipment, local resource speed diagnoses

Test results that used to take two weeks at national labs are now completed locally within days or hours, says Dr. Nasim. This helps doctors diagnose their patients and begin treatment more quickly, Nasim adds. It can also help them manage diseases more effectively.

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